Search tools can help you uncover the information you need for a school research assigment or personal endeavor. Using the appropriate strategies will help improve your results and lessen your stress.
Most Search tools have a similar structure. All will include in some form:
- form for you to enter your keywords
- a button to begin your search
- links to help pages and advanced search tools
- special features and options
- subject categories (most of the time)
To be an effective searcher you must determine your "Key Words" related to your topic. Brainstorm a list of related words and synonyms before you begin to search. Each search tool is differnent and a key word that works on one may work so well in another.
The easiest method of searching is to simply type in one or more key words in the search box and click away. The search tool will return a list of results based on your key words you entered. As you investigate you will notice that some hits are better then others and some have really nothing to do with what your looking for.
Things to keep in mind while searching:
- spelling counts (many search tools now make suggestions for spelling - whew!).
- use lower case letters - search engines look for both upper and lower case.
- look at your reults page to see if you can modify the manner in which results are displyed.
Results from this method are very mixed and you will have to wade through many results to find what you need.